A special sanitiser foot mat and a hand sanitiser kiosk fitted with sensors and antimicrobial film protection have been installed at Bhawanipur 75 Pally Durga Puja pandal (marquee) to keep visitors safe during the puja.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the puja on Sunday, and it was thrown open to the public.
The organisers said around Rs 50,000 was spent to procure and install these two equipment to ensure all Covid-19 safety norms are followed. Circles have been drawn till 500 metres on the road leading to the pandal to help people maintain social distancing. Only 15 people would be allowed to enter the pandal at a go, the organisers said.
“We have a specially placed foot mat that will sanitise every single person stepping inside the pandal premises. Also we have placed a sensor-based sanitising machine. It is a technologically advanced instrument where you place your hand and it is sanitised after a light is illuminated,” said the Puja’s secretary Subir Das.
Bhawanipur 75 Pally will also livestream the puja on their Facebook page. The organisers said cooks hired to prepare “bhog [food offered to the deities]” had been tested for Covid-19.
“We did Covid tests on every worker before they were hired to do the work. We want to definitely celebrate but it is also our responsibility to ensure the celebration doesn’t spread the virus further,” Das said.
This year, the puja’s theme is “Maa [mother]”. While last year, their budget was Rs 40 lakh, it has been scaled down to Rs 10 lakh this year. Despite the limited resources, the organisers worked around the restrictions to use props such as fish nets and threads in a specific pattern to depict the current situation of people and the society as a whole.
“We all are under some or the other restrictions imposed upon us because of this pandemic, we have used fish nets and threads in a specific pattern through which one can still look above and see the sky. Which shows that we are still in hope and expect ‘Maa’ to help us come out of these pandemic restrictions,” said Das.
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